Estate Agency of the Year Awards

Estate Agency of the Year Awards 2016
Estate Agency of the Year
Outstanding Contribution
Regional Winners
Specialist Winners
Individual Awards
Winners by Company Name
Judges' Report
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Lettings Agency of the Year Awards 2016
View the 2016 Winners
Karl Tatler

Best Small Northern Estate Agency 2016

Once again, Karl Tatler has excelled; it is astonishing that he and his team can maintain their high service levels year on year. An outstanding entry and telephone interview was backed up by brilliant mystery shopping results in this category; this agency simply gets everything right. There is one point of contact for buyer and seller; they will chase the chain through and don't rely on a separate deal progression department meaning there is absolute clarity throughout the transaction. This business is recognised as the local expert – the in-house market report is stunning in its quality and content. The new responsive website for all mobile devices means that the way the properties are displayed is very slick and easily navigable. Training provision is second to none and a regimented, clear and aspirational career progression plan provides an open path for promotion, encouraging staff onto the next level when they are ready.

Customer Server - Small Estate Agency 2016

This is a business that is constantly evolving. Karl works tirelessly to improve both the scope and standard of his service offering and he is ably assisted by his impressive team. Whilst Karl is the driving force at this agency, it is evident that he has surrounded himself with a team that takes the delivery of excellent service as seriously as he does. Staff are recruited according to attitude over experience and once on board are provided with a training and development programme that is second to none. The majority of the senior team have been promoted from within so they can distill their knowledge and experience of the culture to the rest of the team, who in turn are encouraged as there is a clear career path mapped out. Of course, the winner in all of this is the consumer who will receive superior service from a friendly and experienced team.

Best Training & Development Estate Agency 2016

The aim of the training provision at Karl Tatler is to empower his team to give the highest possible standard of customer service. He believes that the first stage of training is to understand your people and provide a mixture of generic training and more personalised coaching based on experience and personality. Potential recruits undergo psychometric tests to check their fit with the Karl Tatler culture, and these are then continued at intervals throughout the employment tenure so Karl and the directors can identify areas of growth and maturation and areas where extra training might be required. There is a real focus on stringent recruitment and a lot of effort is put into recruiting people who will fit the culture. This approach means that the people have a hunger for developing their skills so they are already enthusiastic about learning. The 13 point career path is communicated in the starter pack and as all managers have been promoted internally, new starters can see that they can progress quickly.

Overall Winner
Lettings Agency of the Year 2016

The judging panel commented that it was an absolute privilege to be given access to this business, and is therefore delighted to be able to match Karl’s 2015 Estate Agency of the Year accolade with the 2016 Lettings Agency of the Year Award. Karl Tatler joins an elite group of only two businesses to have won the overall award more than once, AND to hold both the overall sales and lettings awards simultaneously.

Karl and his team were first recognised as the Estate Agency of the Year in 2008 and have continued to enter these awards with resounding success. Every year the panel comments that the companies are harder and harder to judge due to the inherently high standards across the board. The judging process therefore becomes more stringent so the panel can really dig down into the detail of a business, above and beyond what they put in the questionnaire, or state during the telephone interview. The panel seeks to uncover the true experience a customer can expect to receive as this is the ultimate benchmark and the reason behind these awards, and without exception, they found that anyone using Karl Tatler Lettings will receive an amazing service.

The mystery shopping results bear this out as Karl and his team scored over 92% across both calls and emails.

From the minute a CV is received by this business, the operations team is already hard at work to decide if the applicant is a fit for Karl Tatler Lettings. Whilst they recognise that experience is important, they also hold great store by personality and understand that for an individual to succeed, they must be a good fit.

New starters undergo a thorough induction alongside Personal Profile Assessments to ascertain their preferred management style and areas for development. The teams are also assessed to check for compatibility and likelihood of success, and changes are made as required. The company manual outlines expected standards and educates as to the principles and values staff are expected to adhere to. Employee engagement questionnaires are carried out twice a year.

To maintain control of services and standards, there is a huge amount of in-house resource which is all managed from Head Office. This includes marketing and PR, finance, client services, operations, HR and online support. Retaining these functions internally allows Karl and his team to provide services which can flex and respond to changing conditions and requests efficiently and to the required standard.

There is a huge amount of community support and charitable enterprise, and as well as holding and supporting fundraising events, Karl and his team also allocate a number of staff hours whereby they can participate in events or donate their time to assist.  

Clients are regularly surveyed for their feedback and to ascertain their satisfaction levels and they specifically request online reviews to demonstrate transparency. They also utilise the Net Promoter Score system to understand customer engagement and to review the customer journey at every touch point.

Landlords and tenants are allocated a specific point of contact so they have the reassurance of being able to contact the same person throughout the relationship; this saves time as the property manager has full visibility of any history and also results in a lower dispute level as there is a fundamental level of trust.

This approach has resulted in impressive market share and a level of new instructions over and above that which can be attributed to market conditions.

Karl is a passionate individual who speaks with enthusiasm and expertise about his business and the wider lettings industry, however it is absolutely clear that the ongoing success of his business must be attributed to not only his vision but also the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of his hard working team. The judges hope you are all as thrilled as we are with this award. Congratulations.

Best Customer Service - Large Lettings Agency 2016

It’s been a huge year but Karl Tatler Lettings continues to strive for perfection. Market share has increased as have new instructions and this growth is due in some part to the utilisation of personality profiling of the team. This has helped the directors really understand the employees’ drivers and how they can best nurture and guide them. They’ve also introduced Net Promoter Score to look at the overall customer journey; this has given them lots of statistics and measurements and they are using these to develop an improved framework for customer services. Data is analysed by the dedicated customer service department and shared with the senior team so they can evolve the systems and processes accordingly. It also helped them identify that customers wanted clarification on maintenance reporting so each office now has a dedicated property manager rather than them being located centrally. This has encouraged better team relationships and resulted in happier customers.

Best Training & Development Lettings Agency 2016

The focus on lettings-specific training in this category was exemplary and highlights that agents are paying close attention to the precise requirements of the lettings teams.
With this attitude in mind, Karl Tatler has impressed the panel once again with its attention to detail. This agency won the gold for Best Training and Development for its sales department in 2015, and it is crystal clear that everyone working for Karl can expect to participate in training at the highest level. New starters are introduced to the company’s standards before they even start when a welcome pack containing books, keys, champagne and business cards is delivered to their house. Personal profiling is carried out to ensure individuals are a good fit for their role, as well as for the team and branch they will be working in. An in-depth induction is followed by monthly sessions with the Operations Director, and their personal development plan is tailored according to experience and the results from the personality assessment. The teams are also encouraged to learn from each other through focused sharing of transaction experience and results.

Best UK Small Lettings Agency 2016

Karl Tatler should be pleased to add another award to his collection and in a highly contested category, the panel found that this agency is not only maintaining but improving its high standards. Karl and his team have demonstrated once again that this is a business to watch and learn from. As a key player in its location, Karl Tatler Lettings provides a fantastic array of services to its customer base, at a fantastic level. The recruitment process is stringent and detailed so that everyone employed is a definite fit. By ensuring that the people are highly skilled, Karl and his senior team can spend their time focusing on the direction of the business and ensuring that the systems and processes are constantly evolved to keep up with market conditions, customer requirements and the latest technology and products. Investment in training and development is very high and it is clear that this is money well spent when one looks at the calibre of every individual in this agency.

Best Small Northern Lettings Agency 2016

In the words of the judges, Karl Tatler Lettings is a damn well run business which is a significant operator in its region. Karl has a real passion for the industry and his attitude is infectious; he has surrounded himself with like-minded people who share his vision and drive. There is a progressive attitude at this agency: the team is assured of an excellent rewards structure which covers remuneration as well as bonus schemes, training opportunities and a well-mapped out career path. Customer service standards are sky high and all touchpoints are mapped and measured to ensure they’re being met every time. Whether it’s time-on-market, landlord and tenant retention, NPS scores or void periods, everything is measured, assessed and shared with the team for maximum transparency. The landlord retention is exceptional and it is evident that they enjoy a strong relationship with the property management and client services teams. In a very competitive category Karl Tatler Lettings is a stand-out business.

Best Property Management 201-500 Lettings Agency 2016

The judge had a fantastic conversation with Karl and found that he represents his business extremely well. He has imbued his agency with an inordinately strong culture and it is evident that this pervades every customer interaction: the team lives and breathes customer service. The past year has seen heavy investment in training. Not only do Karl and his senior team spend a lot of time on one-to-ones with the staff but there is also a lot of external training across a variety of disciplines. Property managers have been paired up with negotiators to engender stronger working relationships and to ensure that clients can access a fully joined up service, irrespective of which department they require. This also enables the teams to maximise cross-selling opportunities which is good for the clients as well as the organisation. Whilst business targets are clearly vital, these are not implemented to the detriment of personal relationships; the way the customer feels is always at the forefront of every interaction.